The problem with initiatory traditions, particularly mystery traditions, is that they’re susceptible to abuse and the sheltering of abusive individuals. This is a problem that Wicca has grappled with for decades and that, from what I can see as an outsider, has improved somewhat.
Heathenry, on the other hand, still has its problematic bastions, in particular in the Theodish community, which today is rife with abuse, cover ups of that abuse, and general bigotry toward several groups. The history of Theodism is easy enough to find online, from its beginnings as a revealed religion when a Wiccan calling himself Merlin (now Garman Lord) allegedly had a vision of Woden instructing him to create the religion now called Theodish Belief all the way to the dissolution of Winland Rice and the subsequent rise of theods like White Marsh and Œþelland today.
To the west were the great spires of stone, black and grey and red, scraping at the sky with their great peaks. To the east were the great swamps and the vast woods, stretching off to the sea, spanned by vast rivers and marked by their own green hills. Between them was a wasteland, an endless expanse of grass; the vast desert plain that brooked neither stream nor tree, where the great herds wandered far and long for good grazing, where the eagles soared over leagues of yellow sea.
The river’s rust and manborne wood,
Chimera’s curse is spoken
The anvil of the gods is gone
The swords of giants high and long
Rake skies that weep, the wind to reap
And Erebor is broken
The dragon’s gone, the forge is cold
Blue skies, like blue eyes sullen
The sand did settle long ago
The wrath that laid the Wanderer low
The threadbare cloak, the dread oath spoke
And Erebor is fallen
The lies of skies that dare defy
The liturgy of Romans
Self-offered water long since spent
The lonely mountain standing, rent
The quaking trust of failing lust
Is Erebor’s fell omen
I did a post a while back on my Germanic altar, and have been meaning ever since to do one on my Kemetic altar, only to get caught up in all manner of nonsense in the meantime. Being that I don’t have anything else to do this week it seemed like time to round back toward my somewhat unorthodox altar for my Kemetic practice and the dubiously reconstructed practice that surrounds it.
Something of an outgrowth of the last post, this venturing more into short-story form, and going backward a bit in our protagonist’s timeline, since I expect there may be more where this came from.
For those few of you who have an interest in anything more than my duking it out with atheists and such, here’s some folkoric fusion.
Yes, I realize this is totally cheating as a blog post. I don’t care.
To say my last post caused a bit of a stir is something of an understatement. I had expected it might garner more response than my previous posts to that point, but I underestimated the extent to which it would be shared, commented upon and otherwise discussed. What I’ve noticed, though, is that there were a few misunderstandings of my position, which I would like to clarify; moreover, I would like to address the elephant in the room that is polytheism itself.
There’s been some discussion of late in the pagan blogosphere as to whether contemporary paganism is dying. I think the answer to that is a clear, obvious, and resounding “No,” but more than that, I think it’s important to address what I believe is happening to paganism. I believe that yes, as John Halstead and Mat Auryn state, paganism is changing. But where they see it pulled apart by entropic forces or hijacked by hostile ones, I rather see a different direction to the flow. Paganism is finally starting to take the first incremental steps to emerge from its overlong adolescence.
I received a few questions from friends after my Easter post last week about the specifics of my hearth practice, in particular, the details regarding my altar, or wīgbed. This post will cover the basic details, as well as a few changes I’ve made recently. In the future, I’ll likely do a similar post on my Kemetic practice; for the time being, I intend to keep posts on each of my respective traditions largely separated. In the meantime, on to the description of my altar and how it factors into my practice.
Part of this blog’s purpose for existing is to provide some (somewhat superficial) documentation of my hearth practice. I believe that it’s a subject too often neglected in modern heathenry; there’s something of a taboo placed upon the discussion of it in many circles, I’ve found. I think that’s understandable enough, the privacy of the home is sacrosanct, to be sure. At the same time, I think that visible examples of what one’s hearth cult can look like in practice can be instrumental in allowing the less experienced or less confident deepen and expand their practice. If I’m able to help with that, all the better.